About Jantango

Miguel Angel Balbi3I’m a life-long dancer with musical training who left Chicago for Buenos Aires in 1999.  I was fortunate to meet Miguel Angel Balbi who introduced me to his friends and taught me about the music, lyrics, orchestras and los codigos de los milongueros.  I listened to him and other milongueros talk about their love for tango and their lives in the milongas.  Tango is my favorite topic of conversation.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I love sharing my experiences and photos I have taken during visits to and the years living in Buenos Aires.  I tried to begin writing a book about the milongueros several years ago, but it didn’t happen.  Now this blog seems to be the best way to share my personal experiences with the men who are married to the milonga so the world can know them.

1993 – Attended Stanford University Tango week and began teaching  tango in addition to other social dances in the Chicago area
1995 – Co-sponsored International Argentine Tango Congress at Northwestern University
1996 – Co-sponsored Tangofest at City Center, Columbus, Ohio
1998 – compiled The Tango Dancer’s Survival Guide to Buenos Aires and The Single Woman’s Guide to the Milongas
1999 – began offering services as a personal guide for women to the milongas in Buenos Aires
2000 – began interviewing and recording milongueros
2001 – began assisting milongueros with private classes for the School of  Milongueros Buenos Aires
2001 – held a weekly Tango Chamuyo for foreign visitors at Academia Bar in Buenos Aires
2001 – announced plans for the first Congreso Milonguero in Buenos Aires which had to be cancelled after 9/11/01

2016 – began giving free tango lessons in my home studio to anyone who wants to learn the secrets of the milongueros viejos

We had a baby grand piano in our Chicago home when my sister and I started piano lessons in 1956 and played duets for our first recital in April 1957.  I was 11 years old in this photo.

I went to Chicago Symphony Youth concerts in third grade and wanted to learn to play flute. There were too many flute players already in the high school band, so the director asked if I wanted to learn oboe. I just wanted to make beautiful music! The concert band (1963-1966) was the best part of high school.

12 Responses to “About Jantango”

  1. Pampa Says:

    Hi, I have to say thanks a lot for the work you did, from China Beijing.
    I need to catch up on all that you’ve written, that’s really good for my writing. I’m writing a story about tango in my blog in Chinese: http://inviernoporteno.wordpress.com.cn/
    We used the same style blog. 🙂
    I found you by searching Alito in google.

  2. cassiel Says:

    Been here too. Your blog is excellent…

    I’ve recommended your blog to my readers.

    Thank you!

    (from Germany)

  3. Timing is everything « Cafe Girl Chronicles Says:

    […] https://jantango.wordpress.com/about/ […]

  4. tangopassionista Says:

    Dear Jantango,

    Am learning a lot from your blog and from your comments on my (infant) blog. Thanks for the encouragement.


  5. jantango Says:

    Dear Tangopassionista,

    That’s the purpose of writing–to share and help others. The tango world is very big, but very small at the same time. We are all connected in some way.


  6. Three to tango « Cafe Girl Chronicles Says:

    […] like to thank my Tango Triumvirate: Janis, Arlene and Alberto. Through their connections and experience, I have been able to find the best […]

  7. zentango Says:

    Hi Jan….thank you so very, very much for your comment on my new blog; it was heartwarming to read it….do come to rome sometime. It would be great to talk and dance and share ideas…..speaking of which, do you have othe sources for tango history and data. I use primarly Todo Tango but would love to have other sources

  8. trungkien0324 Says:

    It’s great to see you here, Jan. There will be a lot of time spending for your articles 🙂

    Trung Kien from Hanoi, Vietnam.

  9. crashwilliams Says:

    Hi Jantango – just wanted to stop by and say great site – I’m very much looking forward to reading through and gaining a much better understanding of Tango. Once our Spanish course is completed, we’ll start Tango!

    Hasta Pronto!

  10. Tango Tails Says:

    Hi Jan, I recently learned about your blog via a podcast from TangoAngeles with Ronaldo. I really appreciate your blog and all of the information which is already guiding me toward planning my next trip to Buenos Aires. Thanks for your dedication and gift to us people across the planet! Un abbraccio forte!
    Tangotails (Douglas) form Avellino, Italy

  11. Lorna Galbraith-Ryan Says:

    Hello Jan. Well I remember meeting you at Lo de Celia. You kindly told me about the various milongueros I had been fortunate enough to dance with. I have been back many times, but we have not met again. Meeting you and your shared knowledge are still one of my favourite stories when I rave about the wonderful milongueros and traditions of BsAs. Lorna from Ireland living in England

  12. Tango Compás Says:


    People come and leave this world. Some of them dace tango. We are Beata and Marcin from Poland. During last two years we learnt a bit about tango. We think that it may be interesting for some people what we found. So we started this blog

    Beata and Marcin

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